It is Okay to Have Self Doubts
I posted my first blog two days ago; and the moment after I pressed publish, I was filled with self doubt. I am no greenhorn to writing. I have been writing for about two decade and have several articles in print. But they were technical pieces, and not personal accounts. It’s easier to write about buildings, machines and stuff; writing about what you believe in, is scary! Also, in the earlier published works I had had the safety net of anonymity and a smaller readership that was time bound: a monthly here, an annual there. After posting the blog I felt as if I had shared a part of me on the world wide web, for public consumption, for all times to come! And I no longer have control over who reads it!! Yikes!
It’s like getting inked and realizing you’ll have to live with it for the rest of your life, except that this digital tattoo will live on the internet for eternity, and is not as easily covered by wearing long sleeves.
Am not sure, I find that notion comforting. I feel as If I have put myself out there, and by getting personal, invited judgement. I may have mentioned things I would never put on my resume. Honestly, how many resumes can you imagine mentioning:
Candidate’s strength: ‘a commitment to happiness’!!
One can well imagine a prospective boss responding, “Yeah! Good for you!”
Most of the work force, wants people who are biddable and obedient, happy to work for a salary, and not necessarily seeking joy! Surely that one trait wouldn’t rake in the moolah for the business or elevate the bottom line! Or would it? Hmm… Now there’s a thought.
The blog was on happiness (you can read it here) and at the time of writing, I rather liked it and believed in it.
Now, after reading it for the nth time, from the imagined perspective of my best friend, the curious busybody neighbor, that irritating cousin, my employer, my employee, the landlord, building’s watchman, the cat, and just about everyone, I am wondering how the article makes me appear? Happy? Too happy? Confident? Flippant?
Happiness is serious business. Trust me, being and staying happy, is always work under progress. Ever wondered, why we don’t come across many smiling faces, on the street, except for children; but that’s probably because they don’t yet know it is hard work. If you don’t trust me, walk into any book store. You’ll find several thousand books on ‘happiness’ under the self help title.
Anyways, so here I am, riddled with self doubt. Sure, the article had merit, but did it come across as a self indulgent piece of writing? How could I be so stupid? Aargh!
And then I hear myself thinking, ‘Ah well! But, isn’t it true that, from time to time, I actually relish doing stupid things? Stick my neck out? Get uncomfortable? Learn something new? Make a fool of myself (if I must) in the process?’
I try not to worry too much about making mistakes. Lord knows I have made one too many, and I truly believe that it is the only way to learn. I wear the scars too, and like Mater says about his dents,
“I don’t get them (the scars) buffed, pulled, filled or painted by nobody. They way too valuable. I come by each one of ’em with my best friend Lightning Mc. Queen. I don’t fix these. I wanna remember these dents forever.” (Cars 2)
The lessons have not always been pleasant, but they served their purpose alright, and each dent is truly valuable! We come by them when we try something new. It’s part of the process.
Another quote I often remind myself in moments of self doubt is,
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” (Walt Disney)
A friend asked me why I needed to write about ‘happiness’, of all the things? Am I seeking some sort of validation?
I think not.
Writing has been a way of life for me. I pour myself in my words, and even though sometimes I write and say the silliest things, that I want to take back the moment I shoot them out of my mouth or keyboard, they are, me! And they help me understand myself better. As I am sure, they help you too. Words help us make sense of the world we live in.
Surely, I could do this in a personal diary, why share it on the world wide web?
Why? Because, I have been helped by countless others, from all over the globe, who shared their lives with me through their words. Potent words. Words that healed, comforted, empowered and connected. At the end of the day, we are alike in many ways and everyone needs to know it’s alright to make mistakes. It’s alright to be yourself. It’s alright to believe.
So even though I have my concerns, I choose to stand by what I write. It’s important that I be true to myself and own up to my words, and actions. And when I share this, I do so, with much hope and humility, that you’ll be able to own up to yourself too, because you are beautiful! And sometimes, it’s okay to have self doubts, just don’t let them hold you back!